Written by attorney David Ashley Haenel

Can a driver serve time in a rehab center in lieu of jail time for a Sarasota DUI?

According to Florida state law, the court can determine whether or not it is appropriate for the offender to attend a rehabilitation center and how that time will be credited toward their imposed jail sentence. A Sarasota DUI Defense attorney will help offenders have their sentences reduced so that when their rehabilitation time is complete they will not have to be released back into custody. This is especially true for first time offenders seeking treatment.

A rehabilitation center is also referred to as sober living environments. These environments are available to defendants so they can spend time in a facility rather than in jail. The time that is spent in the sober living facility will be credited to their jail sentence. There are also cases when time spent in the facility can be credited toward any fines that have been imposed. Spending time in the facility allows the defendant to work on any drug or alcohol problems they may have by participating in twelve step programs and therapy sessions.

How Long will the Offender Be Required to Serve in the Rehab Center?

The defendant could stay in the rehabilitation center for up to sixty days. Because this is such a short period of time, judges only hand down these sentences to those they believe will work diligently toward addressing their issues with addiction. The shortness of the time period also requires the defendant to take serious steps toward working hard in every program offered to them in the rehabilitation center. All of the expenses associated with the rehabilitation center are the defendant's responsibility and not the court's. The court allows defendants to choose which facility they would like to attend so long as it is court approved.

How Long Would a Jail Sentence Be?

How long the jail sentence is depends on how many times the driver has been convicted of DUI. For example, if this is a first offense, then the driver could spend between eight hours and six months incarcerated. If this is the driver's second offense, they will not serve more than nine months in jail. If this is the driver's third offense, they must serve a mandatory jail sentence of thirty days. However, if this third offense occurred outside of the ten year limit, then they must serve up to twelve months. If this is the driver's fourth offense then they could spend up to five years in jail.

How Would Changing the Ruling from Jail Time to a Rehab Center Benefit the Offender?

An experienced sarasota DUI attorney knows that if a defendant voluntarily asks the court if they can attend a rehab facility, it is viewed favorably. In these situations, the judge credits time spent in the facility as time served toward their jail sentence more often than not. Changing the ruling from jail time to a rehab center benefits the offender in that they will receive much needed treatment. Treatment is received through individual counseling sessions, group therapy sessions, and educational programs.

Additional resources provided by the author

Finebloom & Haenel, P.A. 200 North Washington Blvd. Sarasota, Fl 34236 (941) 953-2622

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